Mayor Bill de Blasio and Speaker Corey Johnson today announced an additional $125 million annual investment in “Fair Student Funding” (FSF) for New York City public schools, starting in the 2018-19 school year.
FSF provides the majority of most individual schools’ budgets, and is used at the principal’s discretion, mostly to hire teachers and staff, as well as to purchase materials and educational resources and support student and family activities.
The historic increase in FSF will support the Mayor’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda and his promise to make New York City the fairest big city in America, so that, by 2026, 80 percent of students graduate high school on time, and two-thirds of graduates are college-ready.
“We’ve waited years for the State to act, but our kids can’t wait another day,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We’re increasing Fair Student Funding to get every school to at least 90 percent and help ensure they have the resources they need to provide an excellent education to our 1.1 million school children.”
“Our hard work and persistence paid off. Under this agreement, every school district will receive more funding for things like art programs, sports activities and additional teachers. We included this in our budget response, and the Administration to its credit made it a priority. This is a wonderful example of us all working together, and I am so proud of my Council colleagues and friends at City Hall for making this happen,” said Speaker Corey Johnson.
“New York City understands that public education is not an expense but an investment, and we are continuing to put our money where our mouth is by investing in our kids, families, and public schools,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “More funding means more teachers, guidance counselors, and social workers; more professional development; and an opportunity to bring new materials and technologies into the classroom. The increase of the FSF floor is an important step in putting our schools on a path to Equity and Excellence for all, and to addressing unacceptable and historical inequities in the way our schools have been funded.”
With this investment:
- The FSF “floor” will increase to 90 percent – no school will be receiving less than 90 percent of their FSF, compared to 81 percent at the beginning of the de Blasio administration and up from the current floor of 87 percent. This impacts 854 schools and 588,285 students – in every borough and community school district – that are currently below the 90 percent floor.
- The current FSF average across all schools will increase to 93 percent, compared to 88 percent at the beginning of the de Blasio administration and 91 percent currently. The de Blasio administration previously made a $230 million annual investment to bring the FSF floor from 81 percent to 87 percent, and the average from 81 percent to 88 percent.
The administration’s previous investments in FSF have supported record-high graduation rates, record-high college enrollment rates, record-low dropout rates, and a high-quality pre-K seat for every New York City 4-year-old. In order to fund all schools at 100 percent of their FSF, New York State must provide the funding mandated by the Campaign for Fiscal Equity settlement. For the 2018-19 school year, the State is $1.2 billion short of that legal mandate.
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Historically, schools were provided with resources based primarily on the size of their student body. The FSF formula was introduced in 2007 by the Department of Education and provides additional funding per student based on need, including additional funding for students with disabilities, English Language Learners, low-income students, and students performing below grade level.
For the 2015-16 school year, the Administration invested $59 million to raise the floor to 82 percent and raise all Community and Renewal Schools to 100 percent, and raise the average FSF to 89 percent. For the 2016-17 school year, the Administration invested $168 million to raise the floor to 87 percent and to raise the citywide average to 91 percent, and invested an additional $2 million to increase funding for English language learners.
The increase in Fair Student Funding is aligned to our Equity and Excellence for All agenda. Through the Equity and Excellence for All initiatives, we are building a pathway to success in college and careers for all students. Our schools are starting earlier – free, full-day, high-quality education for three-year-olds and four-year-olds through 3-K for All and Pre-K for All. They are strengthening foundational skills and instruction earlier – Universal Literacy so that every student is reading on grade level by the end of 2nd grade; and Algebra for All to improve elementary- and middle-school math instruction and ensure that all 8th graders have access to algebra. They are offering students more challenging, hands-on, college and career-aligned coursework – Computer Science for All brings 21st-century computer science instruction to every school, and AP for All will give all high school students access to at least five Advanced Placement courses. Along the way, they are giving students and families additional support through College Access for All, Single Shepherd, and investment in Community Schools. Efforts to create more diverse and inclusive classrooms through Diversity in New York City Public Schools, the City’s school diversity plan, are central to this pathway.
“As chair of the City Council’s Committee on Education, I have advocated intensely for increased Fair Student Funding for all of our city’s schools, and am grateful for the support that Speaker Corey Johnson and my colleagues have shown. I thank Mayor de Blasio for recognizing our call and the critical role Fair Student Funding plays in the academic success of our city’s students. Fair Student Funding gives principals the flexibility to meet the unique needs of their school’s students, from hiring more social workers and guidance counselors to providing valuable enrichment programs. This is a positive step forward toward ensuring that each student in New York City is getting the equitable, quality education they deserve,” said Council Member Mark Treyger, Chair of the Committee on Education.
“Fair Student Funding (FSF) provides the essentials that principals need to run a well-organized school,” said Council Finance Chair Daniel Dromm. “FSF allows principals to determine what area in their school needs additional support. This discretion is vitally important because needs in every school are different. By adding $125 million to FSF, the Mayor is answering the Council’s call to strengthen principal autonomy and is making a strong commitment to improved student outcomes.”
“I thank Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Johnson for prioritizing our students and deepening our City’s investment in the Fair Student Funding they deserve. Our public school families have been underfunded and underappreciated by Albany politicians who refuse to make them whole, denying them the Campaign for Fiscal Equity settlement funding that has been legally mandated. Amid this injustice, I have urged the City to fill the void, in particular to address the inequities facing some of our borough’s larger campuses like Abraham Lincoln High School, Brooklyn Technical High School, Fort Hamilton High School, and James Madison High School. This new $125 million infusion will provide the financial support that so many of our teachers and administrators have needed to advance a first-class educational environment for our children. The fight continues for 100 percent fully-funded public schools in every corner of our city,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams.
“We applaud and support school funding that is based on need and that gets additional resources to our most vulnerable students,” said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers.